166. Rhopocichla atriceps.
The Black-headed Babbler.
Brachypteryx atriceps, Jerd. Madr. Journ. L. S. x, p. 250 (1839). Alcippe atriceps (Jerd.), Blyth, Cat. p. 148; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 19; Hume, Cat. no. 390; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 399; Davison, S. F. x, p. 375 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 625; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 175. Rhopocichla atriceps (Jerd.), Oates in Hume's N, E. 2nd ed. i, p. 109.
The Black-headed Wren-Babbler, Jerd.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, nape, ear-coverts, and under the eye black; the whole upper plumage fulvous brown; lower plumage dull white, changing to olivaceous on the flanks and under tail-coverts; the exposed parts of the closed wings and tail like the back.
Iris bright yellow; the lower mandible and the commissure of the upper fleshy pink; rest of the upper mandible dull black; legs, feet, and claws sometimes pale plumbeous, sometimes pure fleshy pink, at other times pink more or less strongly tinged with purple (Davison).
Length about 5.5 ; tail 2 ; wing 2.3 ; tarsus .9 ; bill from gape .7.
Distribution. The Nilgiris and the western coast of India up to Belgaum. This Babbler is found up to 5000 feet or even higher.
Habits, &c. Davison remarks that this bird goes about in larger or smaller parties and seems to prefer bamboo and scrub jungle. It breeds in May, June, and July, constructing an egg-shaped nest of blades of grass in clumps of bamboo or among weeds near the ground. The eggs, two or three in number, are white speckled with brownish and purplish red, and measure .77 by .55.